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Stefan

Mt. Rainier Climbing Fee Increase Meeting

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I was at the meeting last night in Tacoma. About 20 people attended the meeting. The park service went into more detail and discussion of their proposed plan (they have 4-5 options) to increase the fee and level of service.

 

I encourage you to show up at the next one December 17th at the Mountaineers at 6:30.

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How about charge $500/night and provide bell-hop service for my gear to Muir, an attendant in the shitter, hot tubs at all high camps, and a 1:1 ranger-climber ratio so a ranger can hold my hand from the shitter to the hot tub and tuck me into bed?

 

It's a volcano in a national park. Can't we let it be wild?????

 

I wasn't at the meeting, but did they ask if climbers *want* a higher level of service?

 

-L

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The reason for the increase is basically for a higher level of service.

 

For example, they said people complained about the rangers not being at their stations for taking permits--due to limited funds. MRNP would like to increase the time for rangers at the service desks.

 

BUT my point is this: If MRNP NEVER required a fee, then people wouldn't complain about the rangers not being there, and service would NOT be required.

 

But I have a bigger problem. MRNP is only asking for in the range of $250K to operate the whole damned thing. Fine. Why couldn't the park service just get $1MM from the defense budget?????? I am sure the defense budget will not miss $1MM out of $550Billion!!!!!

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Good point, Loren. I can't think of anything I'd want to pay extra for. They've got a nice monopoly on the mountain, and it doesn't make sense to try to run the park like it was a competitive business by offering "value-added services" or whatever bullshit. Of course, recent reinterpretations of the mission of our federally-owned wild areas don't seem to realize this.

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For example, they said people complained about the rangers not being at their stations for taking permits--due to limited funds. MRNP would like to increase the time for rangers at the service desks.

 

Seriously? I pay more to go above 10000 or onto a glacier so a ranger can spend more time sitting at a desk?

 

People complain about RMI, too. Did they mention their plan for that?

 

Please tell me this is a troll.

 

confused.gif

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For example, they said people complained about the rangers not being at their stations for taking permits--due to limited funds.

I used that as justification for not paying when confronted by an LEO type ranger near Curtis ridge. I guess I'm responsible for the whole fee increase "issue." Not to mention my personal responsibility for other people's actions, the weather, and Winona Ryder. My bad.

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RE:I used that as justification for not paying when confronted by an LEO type ranger near Curtis ridge. I guess I'm responsible for the whole fee increase "issue." Not to mention my personal responsibility for other people's actions, the weather, and Winona Ryder. My bad.

 

NO shit. Where's that Gauthier cat? I bet he woulda ticketed you too. Irresponsible lout! j/k I hear Mike's the cool mofo ranger type we need around cool.gif

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If they funded Rainier out of the military budget they could call-up Ray and Mike to be rangers! bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gifsnaf.gif

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RE:If they funded Rainier out of the military budget they could call-up Ray and Mike to be rangers!

 

Class 3-95 I'm done with that shit. 3 people dead from hypthermia and shit. So much for Clinton doing something about it. He couldn't figger out what to say for the dead soldier's families so he hid in the white house.

 

Anyway I doubt I would be accepted there unless I left a bong in the hut at Muir!

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the LEO dude was clueless as to who the climbing rangers were. Not too much fraternizing among the different ranger factions, I guess. Not at all like ranger John Smith hanging with Yogi and BooBoo.

yogi7.jpg

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sorry if i missed it in the above talk, but what was the proposed increased fee?

 

It's currently $15 for a one-time. I read here that the proposal is to double it to $30.

 

Maybe the increase will be used to design the shuttle system from Longmire that they've talked about requiring climbers to use.

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There were a lot of good ideas and alternatives discussed during the meeting, and whether or not the proposed fee is implemented will depend on meaningful comments submitted by the public.

 

For more information, you'll want to review: MRNP Climbing Proposal Info

 

The most interesting alternative that was expressed, was the idea of one flat fee per season (like $35, per person). That amount/idea appeared like it might cover the increased costs and upgraded services, and somewhat benefitted those local users who attempt "the mountain" more than once each season. As a local user, this seemed to be the least painless idea or alternative discussed.

 

The costs are going up in any case, and if the fees remain the same...the services to everyone will go down. I agree it would be cool to pull out all of the services--but in reality this will never happen.

 

Gator and the rest of his rangers do an excellent job on the mountain, providing a variety of services. They stuck their necks out for a number of climbers this past summer, and saved a number of lives. Kudos to each of them for their selfless efforts. They certainly don't get paid what they are really worth.

 

Write/respond to the NPS fee proposal, and encourage them to adopt the flat one-time annual climbing fee. Or, express an alternative--short of pulling the services, again, which will likely never happen. You can submit your response to: mora_climbing_fees@nps.gov

 

Stephan, it was good to see you at the meeting. Sorry we didn't have a chance to meet. wink.gif

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The costs are going up in any case

BOHICA.

 

Gator and the rest of his rangers do an excellent job on the mountain, providing a variety of services. They stuck their necks out for a number of climbers this past summer, and saved a number of lives. Kudos to each of them for their selfless efforts. They certainly don't get paid what they are really worth.

From MRNP Climbing Proposal Info , "Cost Recovery does not pay for actual SAR missions."

 

IMHO, $35 is absurd. I'd want a climbing pass and a damn good lap dance for that much money.

 

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As you said..."From MRNP Climbing Proposal Info , "Cost Recovery does not pay for actual SAR missions.""

 

True, the IMHO doesn't pay for rescues over $500, but it does pay for the rangers presence on the mountain...making them more available for rescues when needed.

Edited by Old_Man

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Here is a reminder for the meeting coming up on Tuesday, December 17, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m at the The Mountaineers Clubhouse, 300 Third Ave. West, Seattle.

 

This is an rare opportunity to have your opinion heard. At the meeting will be:

 

Mike Gauthier, Lead Climbing Ranger

Steve Winslow, Climbing Supervisor

Jill Hawk, Chief Ranger

Dave Uberuaga, the Park Superintendent, and most importantly, the guy that actually makes the decision

 

 

Here are reasons why you should let your opinion be known by showing up:

 

1) The Park only knows what people decide to tell them about how the program works for them. Much like surveys pertaining to the Recreation Fee Demo Program, the people they have available to interview are people that are already paying into the system, so it stands to reason that these people are already accepting of the fees since they already chose to pay them. Also, in the visitor’s mind, they also have never been provided with a choice of whether to pay the fee or not.

 

When you register the rangers make you walk over to the envelope vault and pay the fee. Those that are opposed enough to the fee to not want to pay it are forced to not register. The other reaction generated by the fee in those that oppose it is to climb elsewhere. In both cases the Park has lost the voice of opposition to the program.

 

2) The Park is basing their motivation to provide more services based on a very small amount of documented feedback. Announced at the meeting in Tacoma, this past year brought 6 written letters, 5 phone complaints, and an unspecified amount of comments based on "climber contacts" on the mountain. Given the likelihood that the only reason someone is likely to offer a comment is because they are unhappy with something, the feedback provided is skewed. Yet, that is why this fee increase is being proposed.

 

No systematic survey has been performed regarding satisfaction of services, so the opinions of those that are satisfied with the amount provided today and those who could be satisfied with less or who do not require any services whatsoever have never been polled.

 

3) Expectations rise due to a fee being paid. If we went back to the time when folks who were arriving at hours when the ranger station was closed were able to self-register for remaining vacancies, there would not be the need to have extended ranger office hours. Those that desire that extra level of information by talking to a ranger could arrange their schedule to allow them to talk to someone in person or check the web page.

 

4) Rainier Park sees themselves as a model for how to manage a glacier climbing resource. The position they take on charging of fees and levels of service will be looked at by Forest Service Ranger Districts that administer other volcanoes like St. Helens, Adams and Shasta. In effect, the fees on Rainier and Denali laid the groundwork for other recreation fees affecting hikers and climbers including the Recreation Fee Demo Program. If fees are allowed to continue or rise at Rainier, they will likely continue and rise elsewhere.

 

5) Whatever gets decided in this fee increase proposal will probably be in place for the next 7-8 years. So whatever happens now you will have to endure until then. Then, guess what? They are sure likely to ask for more.

 

If you oppose the fee increase, or user fees in general, they need to hear from you.

 

 

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I was under the impression that the meeting at the mountaineers clubhouse in december was the last public meeting to be held regarding the fee increase. if you have heard otherwise, do you have information about location and time?

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not making the long drive to seattle tonight to call The Man a money-grubbing whore, but if someone wants to do it for me i'll take the fall for it...

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so how'd that meeting ever turn out? anybody pass along my compliments?

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As a reminder, you can still send in a letter for comments on their proposal either today or tomorrow (Tuesday, January 21st). Email comments can go to mora_climbing_fees@nps.gov

 

If you don't contest it, the park will pretend the entire climbing community is in favor of paying more fees.

 

Edited by graupel

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